Hybrid SaaS – Architecture for ‘Shared First’ transformation

As Forbes.com reports the USA Government has already saved $5 billion from their Cloud First policy, and is on track for a full $12 billion.

The article also describes how `Shared First`is the latest best practice program that’s part of this mix, an agenda that defines how other agencies can repeat the process and enjoy the same benefits through adopting a Shared Services approach.

With Canada also charged with significant cost-saving reduction programs like Shared Services Canada and the Drummond Report, agencies and IT teams can call upon these practices and Cloud Best Practices like ‘Hybrid SaaS’ to reap the same benefits.

Hybrid SaaS

As described on our Hybrid SaaS page, this concept refers to a combination of the SaaS model (Software as a Service) with the Cloud ‘Hybrid’ architecture.

The primary motivation for this scenario is organizations who wish to harness the benefits of Software as a Service, but without using public web applications.

A pertinent example is Government, where due to their data privacy restrictions they cannot host data outside of their own national boundaries, and therefore many non USA customers are prevented from using SaaS apps.

Hybrid SaaS are different ways to achieve the same SaaS benefit, but in a manner compliant with these regulations.

Rather than one specification definition for this, it`s actually intended more as a generalized concept, because there is actually a number of different ways of achieving this model. We identify three here:

  • Hybrid Cloud SaaS – As described in their blog here, Rackforce in Canada connect to the Alberta Supernet and offer private VPNs between client premises and their data centres. These could be running locally installed software and provided on a SaaS basis, like the VMware vApps described.
  • Salesforce DRO – Salesforce.com are launching new innovations, such as their ‘DRO’ – Data Residency Option, that is also intended to address this same requirement, through providing on-premise equipment that encrypts data to meet local standards needs.
  • Multi-tenant shared service architecture – In the case of ACIS in Canada, they have created an additional piece of ‘overlay’ software, their SPM module, that enables a single piece of software, Microsoft FAST in this case, to be used in a ‘multi-tenant’ manner. This means multiple agencies, like many across Ontario, can all be serviced from the same core stack of software.

Each of these options applies the Hybrid Cloud model in some way to SaaS, offering a range of options for governments to suit their specific needs.


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